For a company of any size, one of the most powerful resources is social media.

I’ve seen many local companies fail miserably at managing their online presence.

Firstly, it’s inconsistent.

One of the main causes is internal inconsistency. There are several forms that might take. The largest one is when a firm becomes excited about social media or has an employee eager to take it on, but then either that employee quits or the business loses its passion.

That final manifestation of inconsistency is one you, ideally, will never have to deal with. But I’ve witnessed it much too often. It’s important to keep track of who has access to your social media accounts, and to have a strategy ready in case an employee who does so decides to quit the firm. Too many customers have asked me to set up a social media profile for them when they already have one but have forgotten the password. Keep the following you’ve cultivated. It will be a steep uphill climb to win back those followers after you switch to a new identity. Maintain a profile that is consistent with your identity.

Second, you haven’t been following the site’s guidelines.

Even though it’s a fundamental rule, I’ve seen many local companies fail on social media simply because they didn’t read and abide by the guidelines set forth by the site in question.

I can’t believe this is still happening, but apparently your company doesn’t have a Facebook profile. Be sure that it is a business page. Facebook may, at any time, request verification of identity on a personal profile. They can delete your entire profile if your driver’s licence lists your personal name instead of a company name. Those relationships are going to end for you. As a corporation, you already have access to so many more resources. It would be foolish not to take advantage of those.

Yet the regulations include more than simply the fundamentals of creating an account correctly. Each site also has its own set of etiquette guidelines. Example: unless the link is really short and simple to put in, you shouldn’t include it in the caption of an Instagram photo or video since it won’t be clickable. You can, alternatively, copy Etsy’s model. All the goods they showcase on their Instagram feed may be purchased through a link in their bio. Etsy created the page in-house, but there are several resources available to help you create a similar landing page for your Instagram links.

Bad audience engagement is the third culprit.

Obtaining material that adheres to all of the guidelines at all times is a major challenge. Many local companies feel relieved after this is completed and assume they can ignore social media from then on.

It’s unfortunate, but that’s not the case. As time goes on, social media will become an integral part of your customer service strategy. You should answer all inquiries sent to your business via email. The same holds true for any messages or comments.

An easy “We hope you can try it out eventually” in response to a “Delicious” on a photo of food goes a long way towards building rapport.

For a small company, the support of the local community is crucial. Potential customers should check Amazon’s prices before making a purchase with you. Making personal ties with consumers is the key to standing apart from a behemoth like Amazon. They need to know that you value them and their opinion. Interact with your target market. Stop ignoring the problem.

Doing this step is crucial for limiting the harm. Leaving an angry customer’s remark unanswered is rude to the commenter and sends a message to anybody else who visits your page that you don’t care about their concerns. People might begin to accept the pessimistic outlook as truth. A favourable response is crucial.

The lack of a strategy and supporting evidence is the fourth cause.

We discussed the value of preparation in preventing erratic behaviour. Having a broad social media strategy supported by evidence is also crucial.

Find out which platforms your existing clients and consumers use, then compare that information to statistics gathered from third-party sources like Pew Research and Statista. A lot of the groundwork for your study has already been laid. You shouldn’t put your time and money on something that won’t pay off for you eventually. You may learn what will resonate most with your target demographic by conducting market research.

Hoping visitors would stumble upon your site without any promotion.

It’s the belief of some small businesses that “if you build it, they will come” when it comes to social networking. They have faith that individuals would stumble into their profile on their own. In practise, however, such is unusually unlikely to occur.

Anyone who interact with your company in any way—in person, online, or via email—should be encouraged to follow you on social media. Make sure your email signature and business card both have your social media symbols.

You’re not making use of the resources at your disposal

As we mentioned before, you should educate yourself as much as possible on the available platforms. To do so, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the features offered by each service. Facebook Insights is worth exploring if you haven’t done so recently. Why not give Facebook’s Creative Studio for scheduling Instagram posts a try? Have you considered LinkedIn Message Ads for B2B?

Don’t give up hope on social media for your small business.

In sum, a company’s size isn’t a valid excuse for ignoring social media’s nuances. You may find many useful resources online at no cost at all. You’ll have far more success in the long run if you put in some effort now.